Skip to comments.Weekly Gardening Thread -- Vol. 12, March 23, 2012
Posted on 03/23/2012 8:53:54 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde
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Your dad sounds wonderful, BTW. Our elderly parents have so much to teach us.
I lost my mother in 2007, when she was about 6 weeks away from her 95th birthday. Miss her so....
The ‘ancient’ mostly non-grass yard has a charm all it’s own. It is full of wild flowers .... violets, Persian Speedwell (beautiful little blue flowers), plus lots that I don’t know the names of .... many ‘purples’. It’s like having another flower garden! We haven’t mowed the first time yet .... rained all weekend and I can ‘hear’ the grass growing so I’ll be out on the mower today.
Tell me about it! Guess what? in the 7 days that have gone by from when I ordered the test kits, the price has gone up another $5!!!
Another WOW! $5 in seven days?
I had planned to go see our Extension agent today to get his analysis of my test but have had to put off until tomorrow.
My test kit consisted of one double sided printed page of instructions on how to collect the soil sample and a form on the other side to fill out and heavy duty paper bag that will hold about a pint of the combined/mixed soil sample.
Is that how your kit was?
I had to box my own and send it via US Mail.
I can see now why yours cost so much. I just strolled into the Extension Office picked up my instructions and a sample bag. Filled the bag with my sample and mailed it off.
Your cool weather is coming wkwe. It’s blowing here now, with a hard frost coming tonight.
Spanish Onion seeds and oriental Poppy seeds are germinating.
I’m not entirely happy with using egg cartons. I find it hard to keep the soil moist.
Geraniums (hybrid-red) were seeded yesterday, all 8 of them. The package was supposed to have 6, but I got lucky. Also, at $3.99 for the package, vs $4.50 for each plant in the garden centres, even if only half make it, I’ll be ahead.
It’s here, friend! Five consecutive days in the 80’s, including an 86! Now the winds are ripping (worst I’ve seen all ‘winter’), and the temp is heading down to fifteen tonight. Even the broccoli and cauliflower will be indoors in this weather...
Good to here you have been having great weather! Hate the below freezing temps for you tonight! It is definitely spring down this way! Lows in the 60s to high 50s for the next weeks and highs up into the 80s or so, unless AlGore stops by! LOL
Couldn’t believe I had to bring my peppers INSIDE out of the direct sun in mid-March...the leaves on some of my habaneros are showing some sun scald. Tomato plants were lovin’ it, though...
I visited with the Harrison County Extension Agent this morning and he went over my soil sample results with me. He said it was not bad except I needed to apply about 40 lbs. of Lime to bring the soil pH up to a 6 to 6.5 level. The Soil Lab’s recommendation was to also add .75 lb of a 16-6-12 Fert per 100 sq ft. He said I may have difficulty finding that exact fert proportions and should look for and use a 15-5-10 (same proportions of NPK). He was right every feed store and garden center had the 15-5-10. Seems to be a popular turf fert around these parts. He said I need to till the lime and the fert into the garden as soon as possible. I will start that tomorrow. that is all the amendments I need to add. I did bring four large bags of my old compost with me when we moved and will also add that in.
:) for your ancient lawn.
I am going to try and contact the Master Gardener they list tomorrow when he is supposed to be in the office.
Looks like both your soil areas are slightly alkaline. I wonder why they don’t give you a Nitrogen reading? At least I don’t recognize one.
I really don’t know. This is a first for me. I have never done one of these tests before.
To be honest, this stuff confuses the heck out of me. I understand this just about as much as I understand women. Which is somewhere between clueless and hopelessly lost . . .
We'll see about that...
Can God make a rock so heavy that He can't lift it?
dono ducks for cover
Why isn't a test for nitrogen run? Several reasons, including cost, reliability, time, and lack of relationships between soil nitrogen levels and yield. Soil nitrogen levels change greatly due to moisture levels, microorganism activity, temperature, leaching, and organic matter levels. A test run on samples taken in November (to allow time for lime applications to react for spring) would not give reliable results about the nitrogen status of that soil in March. Soil organic matter is estimated, and from that a number is derived for the amount of nitrogen the soil will probably supply.
It was very rude of the jet stream to be fickle like this.
I planted some old beet, pea, and lettuce seeds (for the fun of it) in one of the beds last week, and threw a ton of dry leaves over them yesterday, to see if they can survive.
What do you do with old seeds anyway?
You won’t be laughed at for asking a Gardening question because this thread is about Humans in the Garden.
Still raining here... Doesn’t matter where here is if it’s still raining
That recommendation of 40 lbs of lime sure does seem like a lot for a 600 sq. ft. garden area. Especially this close in attempting to plant the gardening. I think I may just try about 20 lbs and add the rest in the fall.
I potted up my 'dwarf' tomatoes tonight...sturdiest seedlings I have EVER seen...reminded me of sprouted beans or cucumbers. They are in their first year of release, and I have a feeling that they are going to become VERY popular...they were designed to be grown in containers, and will be a boon to those with limited space. There are thirteen of them (collect 'em all), with nine more due to be released in 2013. These are regular size tomatoes on a plant that only grows to three or four feet. Can't wait to try them...
Hmmm, I’m going to run over to Walmart tomorrow and get some veggie & flower Mirecle Gro and put in a couple of watermellon and canteloupe seeds and put my grids over them to climb. Thanks for the idea. I’m all for elevated growing.
Hubby had some meetings this past week and weekends. He wanted me to be there with him. I took my book of worms. As one of the speakers walked by us, he stopped looked at me and said “that book is holding your attention, what is the name, I may want to read it too”. In answered “Worms”.
Mark has healed. I’m happy to hear that.
I am not so sure. Garden Lime is crushed limestone, rock, powdered rock. That’s gonna be heavy. I suspect 40 pounds is about 1-1/2 cubic feet or so. That spread over a 20x30 area is not that much.
I did read a cautionary note that said not to add lime and fertilizer at the same time. Apparently it can cause a chemical reaction that is not desirable.
I have been reading the web site of the Miss State Univ. AG Department and a couple of other sites and have read the same thing about not applying lime and fert together and should occur months apart. Normally lime is added to the soil in the fall which gives it time to alter the acidity (raise the pH) and the ferts are added months later in the early spring.
I also read on one site that lime additions should not exceed 5# per 100 sq ft. and on another site the recommended rate to raise the pH from 5.5 to 6.5, basically what I need to do, is 7.5 lbs/100 sq ft. which would have me adding 45 lbs. just about the rate the soil test lab recommended I add.
Confusion is setting in! I am debating on whether to just to add the lime to my in ground garden area now and wait until next year to plant it. And just do a couple of raised beds this season.
Perhaps the best course is to not expect optimized perfection and proceed with what you can do. Plant, fertilize.
Adjust ph this fall
There was a big storm up in here in Northern MI in May 1990.
It was May 10th and we had 10”. Remember it well as we were trying to get to the hospital to see new Granddaughter born that day! Will never forget because of date, amount and circumstances.
This year all are concerned about the cherry crop up here. No final word if the buds survived the freeze a couple nights in a row. That would be the trees that survived the big snow a couple weeks ago. Many broken and down.
The joys of Northern Michigan!
I am really leaning toward the raised beds for this year. And just planting a few heirloom tomatoes and maybe a pepper plant or two.
That could have been the same storm that I remember. It did a lot of damage in Wisconsin.
Good luck - I think the bag idea works well if you have the area without grass to mow around where the vines will go. Can you train vines for watermelon? I would think the fruit would be too heavy...so let me know if it works - that would be great!
I called the Master Gardener office this morning to discuss the test results. I was told the MG would call me back sometime this week . . .
One other thing I decided to do different this year. After spending a day searching online, I ordered some “water crystals” to add to the soil. I have looked every spring for a few years for the stuff and finally I found a place where they were somewhat reasonable in price. I think it will help if I can stabilize the moisture content in the raised beds.
I’m going to use some re-mesh and let the small watermelons grow thru to the top and they will lay on the braced remesh. I have them growing in one of my raised gardens, along the edge, so they will be “suspended” on the remesh. I’m going to do the same thing to the cantaloupe. My summer squashes and cucumbers will be using the remesh but going up. In fact my beans will be growing up on building wire. I’m using rebar for the tomatoes. My tomato growing in a “topsy turvy” died and so did the strawberries. I’m going to try it again, but this time the tomato with basil and lettuce. Only my salads, lettuces, herbs, and bulbs are not going to climb. I’m having a terrible time trying to grow a couple of the heirloom tomatoes. The rest of my seeds seem to be doing ok.
The area with the bags will have pea gravel and no grass, so I think it will work. It’s an area about 16 feet wide, so I’m thinking what can I put in there????? Maybe some yard long beans of each color, climbing nastutiums and I don’t know what else. I cannot find malabar spinach seeds anywhere. Guess, I need to order some, those would be nice with the beans.
Over here I plant the Cantaloupe in the narrow flowerbed alongside the driveway and let them grow up the chain link fence. Same with the Cucumbers.
You always have such a beautiful garden! I look forward to this years pictures.
I love your tag line. :-)
Your soil test was similar to mine in one respect, I had 5.5ph also, but had no nitrates. He advise me to put down about 2lb of calcium carbonate to bring up the ph, and about 1.75lbs nitrogen for my 175sgft plot. I got confused reading your results and advisory of adding lime, especially so much. All this being new to me, I looked up calcium carbonate to see if it raised ph also.Dummy me, it is the primary active componate of lime. He never said anything about not adding at the same time, so I(my wife) spread it all and turned it in. I guess he knows, he is the teacher over the master gardener program in Montgomery County. Our plants all seem to be happy.
There is supposed to be some chemical reaction between adding lime and fert at the same time. Kind of like peeing into a toilet that has had Clorox added to it. Not a good idea.
Oh, thank you for reinforcing my thoughts for our Community Garden. It’s FINALLY in a stage where it’s about to be root ploud and some weed removal along the chain link fence. Our city manager wanted rows of kentucky blue beans in rows. I asked if someone would amend the fence line, as I thought that would be a great place to plant his beans. I added cucumbers and squash. Then being the big hearted fellow he is, he told me he’d put me in charge of it. GREAT! Now, as soon as the city council approves it, I’m going to show the plots and walkways. We still have a long way to go, but it is beginning. I need hubby’s help, in doing the engineering phase of drawings, water layout, and maybe even electricity. Fencing along the outside area, the parking area, a compost area, someone wants a gazebo, the mayor wants a greenhouse, and this is on ONE lot. As soon as we measure the entire area, we can do the gardens and walkways. There is an area behind the Sr Ctr that maybe can be turned into the gazebo. I can picture it, with tables, potted plants, hanging plants, fans, a new paint job, and it is closer than if the gazebo would be put into the garden. It has lovely trees, it just needs sprucing up.
I’m planning the first garden for late fall or winter. We’ll see.
You sound clever! I saw an interesting use of an old piece of guttering - mounted along a fence, ends closed up and filled with soil to grow lettuce! I’m not doing it, but thought it was a clever use of something that might have otherwise been thrown away
He specifically had me use calcium carbonate as opposed to other calciums. Maybe the other componants in common garden lime are the offenders, like magnesium.
Never heard that about clorox and pee. What does it do? Explode? I knew clorox and ammonium was a no-no. I saw someone do that once. The fumes were pretty toxic.
Pee contains ammonia and if mixed with Clorox will produce those same fumes - chlorine gas is among those fumes.
OK, that makes some sense.
Yes, what is a Texes girl doing in PA? Hmmm? No, I’m not the least bit clever, I just think I’m capable of doing anything I set my mind to. Many times I’ve had to try something else.
I’ve been reading books, borrowing books, buying gardening magazines to learn what needs to be done. Now I’m on the lookout for a book about plants doing best with other plants. I’ve seen all sorts of hanging plants in all sorts of planters. There is a planter “pocket” made from reused tires attached to a wall. Looked nifty. We have a berm around the first floor of our house with open areas for the patio, the front door and the garage. The area into the garage and front door has a concrete wall to hold the earth & vegetation in place. After seeing some of the hanging plants and climbing plants, I’m going to see if we can’t utilize that space too. Shoot I’ll try just about anything to see if it works.
I picked up a package of allum purple sensation, not reading the directions cause the blooms are in my favorite color. It directs the bulbs be planted in the fall. Well, it isn’t fall, in Texas, yet. How should I save these little beauties? Do I put them in the fridge, in soil? I’m stumped.
Store them in a cool dry place and allow air to circulate. Refrigeration can help.
Thank you Red, I have saved some net sacks and put them in the fridge in the laundry room.
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